I love a good book. I love to curl up and tuck into an engrossing story. Many times I don't have a block of time to read so I squeeze it in where I can. I'm one of those lucky people that can pick up a book and read a page or just a paragraph and know right where I am when I next pick it up - 5 minutes or 5 hours later. I always carry a book with me and often can be found reading at a stop light while waiting for traffic to move, or as the passenger when we've run out of things to talk about, or standing at the kitchen counter waiting for the oven timer to go off.  Sometimes it's an art book, most often a novel. If you want to know what I'm reading, or what I've read this year, I'm keeping the list and short reviews on my Reading Corner tab up above.

I'm not alone.......here's proof people love to read!
by Jean-Honore Fragonard

So, why read?

It's relaxing and informative.
NOW THIS IS A LIBRARY!  Room of books  Now here's a library to drool over!

It contributes to making you a better conversationalist.
by Renoir

It's portable - you can do it anywhere, any time.

Your neighbors won't complain the book is too loud.

Old books - color, texture, fab

It improves and strengthens your vocabulary.
book lovers

It's something you can do with your kids.

by Nelda Piper

Can you do anything with books besides read them?  Well, you all know the answer to that - you're artists after all.  Altered books are being created in every style and theme and genre - here are a few I found that are intriguing (all via pinterest - my other computer obsession - follow me and I'll share all the artsy goodness I find).

David Kracov, altered book art
David Kracov

Folded books by RhymesWithMagic

Books aren't just for reading anymore.      from an Anthropologie window, posted by Lynne Bryne @ DecorArtsNow

book necklaces  Lots of patience goes into making these little jewels!

Toes in sand. Nose in book. Life is sweet.

:-)  Read with joy.   So, are you inspired to pick up a book now?  What are you reading?  I'm always on the lookout for something new to read - I read just about any genre, so.....lay it on me!  What should I read next?


tuesday list

Here it is, Tuesday list day again, hosted by Aimee at Artsyville.  This is a simple challenge or whatever to participate in - she throws out a topic and we list lovers jump in.  You can be as simple (type a list for your post that week) or as elaborate (work in your journal, canvas, or however you want) to make your list.  The first couple times I just typed my list; this time I took the time to make a digital list.

This week's topic:   Quick Fixes - a list of things you could/should do that you've been avoiding but all they need is a 'quick fix'.  Here's mine:

Not terribly long this week (not like listing what I love about where I live!), but these are things that have been on my mind the last couple weeks and I've been practicing avoidance.  All would be quick and easy......and done!  I'll work on it - some time! :)

What are you procrastinating about?  List it and share it before 11/3 cuz then next Tuesday's list is - ta da - favorite movie lines.  That one could be really fun!


jewelry mania

My best friend stayed with me last weekend and we planned a jewelry making marathon.  We took jewelry classes together years and years ago and have tons of supplies but haven't really done much with those supplies in a long time.  Last time we spent the weekend together it was at her house in Chelan and we spent the weekend making our Christmas cards.  This weekend - jewelry.

I'm working on the turquoise necklace and she's over there working on her green one - notice out the back door, it's light....mid-afternoon I think.

Hours later, we've finished and moved on and I'm trying to figure out my next necklace....notice the back door - dark!  And we're still creating!

We spent one day visiting, planning and shopping for a few findings and miscellaneous supplies and the next day creating. We both already had most all the beads we needed.  C made the 2 necklaces on the left and the crocheted bracelet. Isn't that cool?  The bracelet had been done for a long time but needed a clasp, so she finished that up and had a gorgeous bracelet done.  Making my turquoise necklace was my goal for the whole weekend.  I've had these chunks for over 30 years; they were a gift that I wanted to remake in my style.  I was able to make both the necklace and bracelet - had just enough turquoise. The earrings were my first ever earrings (pretty simple design but they go well with the pieces).

We had a blast, we brainstormed and problem solved like crazy. We were both a little rusty in our jewelry-making skills, so made stuff up as we went along. There might be a more 'right' way, or easier way, but we just figured out what worked and made it that way!  Why can't I apply that same attitude to my art?



I don't have any of my art to share today, but I DO have an opportunity to share (no it's not Amway or Mary Kay).

Tracey Fletcher King is giving away 4 pieces of her original art in a drawing on Thursday. Head on over and leave a quick comment for a chance to win.  And if you aren't a regular visitor, take a moment to read a couple of her posts and you'll be captivated and certain to join the legions that start their days with a dose of her humor.

   art by Tracey Fletcher King

My computer crashed over the weekend and I had to buy a replacement (ugh!) and am still trying to get the email to work, working on reloading programs and resetting all my defaults.  And my photos....ah, the photos.  Luckily I had backed up right after our recent trip, so didn't lose any.  BUT, I had to reload PSE and start anew with my tags, etc.  That might not sound like a lot but I have about 20,000 photos, all with multiple tags and now my whole tag tree is gone.  And it was a BIG tree! :)  It's going to take for freakin' ever to get that restored......like I have nothing but time, right?  Enough of that - at least I'm able to replace the computer....lots of folks wouldn't be able to do that!

So all my computer time is at lunch or break at work for the next little bit - so if it seems I've dropped off the face of the earth, I haven't....I'm just busy restoring.  And trying to keep up with all you who are still busy creating.


easy journal

One of the MMSA (mail me some art) prompts is to make a simple duct tape art journal to swap.  Since I've had this on my mind for months, this seemed the perfect opportunity to get it out of my head and see if I could make one and whether I'd like it.  This particular version is SUPER easy and truly anyone can make one.  So, if you'd like to swap, just click here for the guidelines (hosted by the ever supportive and creative Karen at I am Rushmore) and join in.  You still have 10 days!

By the way, if making a journal isn't your thing, there are lots of other options: postcards, ATCs, envelopes, etc.  I know she's planning on taking a break over the holidays, so if you'd like to get in on one more swap before the holiday madness crashes in, check it out..........

My journal:

Front cover, spine is decorative duct tape.

Right hand page is one of the decorative papers I started at my class with Jane Davies.

You can see the pages are different sizes, making for a really interesting 'edge' treatment.

Using some of my postage stamps from around the world.

I even experimented with sewing a pocket and making some tags.

This is only some of the pages, but you get the idea.  It was SO much fun and I hope whoever receives finds plenty of space to write and journal and even add to the page starts I've created.  Okay, Karen...it's coming your way!

just a quickie

As some of you might know, I'm a bit addicted to pinterest - it seems every time I check in I find cool stuff.  Of course there's plenty of art related inspiration, but there's so much more.  I randomly came across this link that I think could be so much fun!

If you're part of a family that likes to play games or have activities for all ages, here are some really clever ideas for party games - easy enough for all ages so kids can play too. Or after a few drinks, some of these could be really fun adult party games (we'd have to lose an inhibition or two).  Click through and see how this family made a huge family gathering a fun holiday party.


Too early for holiday stuff?  Nah.


what I love about where I live

List it Tuesday topic for the week is "what I love about where I live" - there are so many great things about Seattle and the northwest but here are some of the highlights:

Big picture:
I love that I live in the US with all the benefits and freedoms we enjoy.
I love living on the west coast where people are generally friendly, casual, environmentally aware and oh-so-laid back.
I love living in Washington state where we enjoy marine weather in the west, desert-like weather in the east, grow yummy apples and have a blossoming wine industry.  Washington is urban and progressive, rural and farm country.
Lincoln Park, Seattle

Closer to home:
I love living in Seattle where I can be close to my boys.
I love living in Seattle because there's a view of mountains and water around almost every corner.
I love the wealth of activities - Pike Place Market, Seattle Center, Arboretum, beaches, mountains, skiing, boating, professional sports (we might bring back the NBA too!), plays, art galleries and more and more!
Seattle skyline after addition of new ferris wheel

I love seeing Mt. Rainier's snowy top dominating the horizon on clear days.
Gorgeous Mt. Rainier

I love green.  Green trees, green grass, green attitude - it's all so green!
I love the mild weather - not 90 in the summers, not freezing and snowy in the winter - yet we have distinct seasons.
I love living 15 minutes from work, 20 minutes from my kids, 15 minutes to the airport, 10 minutes to the beach, 60 minutes to the mountains, 20 minutes to downtown - in other words, convenience!
The beach 10 minutes from my home

At home:
I love the space in our home - literally plenty of square footage.
Light - I love the light from all the big windows.
Art room - for the first time ever I have a room dedicated to creativity!

I love sitting at my computer, looking out to my big back yard and garden, delighting in my flowers.

More than any of the other things, I love the man I share where I live with.

If this doesn't make you want to live in Seattle, I've done something wrong! :)  Now I can't wait to read about what others love about where they live.


I'm so excited!

I just can't hide it.

I want to send a giant thank you to Vonny for painting this watercolor of my Tigger.  I sent her the photo and got back this stunning likeness.  She's just starting to accept commissions for pet paintings and she's clearly got the talent.  If you have a favorite pet, you should really consider contacting her for a portrait.

Look at the amazing fur detail.  The subtle color on the inside of her ear; the perfect capture of her wild whiskers and her bright eyes. I just love this Vonny, thank you so much!

Here's the photo I sent:


another challenge combo

Again this week I was able to combine the APR and IA challenges.....IA, orange and APR masquerade.  So what's the logical thing to do?  Put the masquerade mask on a pumpkin, of course!

Hope you enjoy my bit of silliness - hope it's not too late to get this linked.....I kept forgetting to work on it in the evenings.  Anyway - visit Jenn's Artist Playroom and Inspiration Avenue to see other interpretations.


beautiful oregon

Taking the idea from Neesie, I picked some of my fave vacation pics and put them into little mosaics so it wouldn't take so long to look at the photos.  I grouped them kinda sorta by topic..... we spent a week in beautiful central Oregon, visiting Redmond, Bend, the Painted Hills, Smith Rock and more.  If you have the opportunity to visit, we'd strongly encourage it - the scenery is just stunning!

Painted Hills & Smith Rock area above and delightful rusty old stuff below (except the heron!)

Who doesn't love a decrepit old barn and picturesque hillsides?

Fun stuff below - dinner & drinks, art in the evening, feeding the mule deer an apple and sightseeing in Bend.

And here's some of the stunning scenery! Mt Hood, first hint of fall, the Crooked River and a sunset to die for (lots of wildfires putting smoke and haze in the air).
Thanks for letting me share Oregon with you......